Tuesday, May 31, 2011

THAT WASCALLY WABBIT





He floats up out of his underground lair; eyes closed in bliss, as the steamy fragrance lures him with beckoning hand to the source of yummy food. Light-hearted background music implies feelings of being smitten with goofy love, and that is exactly how the character appears. The melody is “Morning” from the opera, Peer Gynt, and the guy who is wafting along the animated aroma is the one and only Bugs Bunny!

Bugs Bunny is the reason I enjoy classical music. Growing up in the early 1960’s, cartoons used the ancient music as background to the action, or as an operatic spoof. We were hearing the classics of Strauss, Liszt, Wagner, etc, without even knowing it. Now, when I hear certain melodies, I think of the action portrayed in that particular cartoon.

One memorable presentation had Elmer Fudd searching for Bugs Bunny and singing “Kill da Wabbit, Kill da Wabbit!” in a parody of Flight of the Valkyries. Guess what you will be singing next time you hear this song?


In the lampoon of The Barber of Seville, Bugs is a very bad barber and does crazy things to his client, Elmer Fudd.

For background scores, there is one scene where Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny are on horseback, chasing each other to the tune of The William Tell Overture. (Also the theme of the old TV series The Lone Ranger) To me, this music has been type-cast forever!

In the animated production of "Corny Concertos", Elmer Fudd is the conductor leading the orchestra in The Beautiful Blue Danube. As the music plays, a story of 4 swimming swans and one little duck play out. The critters swim to the music and the duck belts out “Quack- quack, quack- quack."


Other cartoons used classical music as their background scores. I will always remember the single flame dancing, or the boat going up a wave and down a wave, but for the life of me, cannot remember what the songs where, that is, is until I actually hear it. If anyone can help me out, I so would appreciate it!





But Bugs Bunny has my heart, and “Believe me, if all those endearing young charms” (Kaboom!) of his continued today, kids would learn to appreciate classical music.

15 comments:

  1. That's how I learned many classical music pieces, too. (My kids complain that they can't hear them without thinking of Bugs Bunny...smile!)

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  2. I'm laughing and I wish you could hear me. My husband says that all the time, his classical music training came from the cartoons.
    Diana
    www.pencildancer.com

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  3. I wuv that wascally wabbit too! And the music. And I have the same problem. LOVED this post, Barb!

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  4. Oh, Barb, what a fun "B" you came up with!! Thank you for putting a smile in my day--and lots of great memories!

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  5. My sisters and I didn't watch a lot of cartoons growing up, but we did listen to the classical radio station and we often would make up stories to go with the music, and then act them out. Sometimes my oldest sister would even play it on the piano while my sister and I practiced the acting.

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  6. What a fun B post! I love Bugs and the other classic cartoons (and their music) too. Thanks!

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  7. This is no doubt the reason I have so many tunes (too many) in my head. My favorite regular cartoon (other than Road Runner and Wiley Coyote, of course) was Fractured Fairytales.

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  8. You're so right about the classical music connection!
    My favorite Bugs Bunny has to be the one where he and Daffy meet up with the Abominable Snowman.
    "And I shall call him George, and hug him, ans squeeze him..."
    Smiles!

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  9. My oldest is a HUGE fan of these cartoons! He has practically memorized a number of them. It's not uncommon to hear him singing "Oh, Brunhilda, you're so wuvvvly!" "Yes, I know it, I can't help it!"

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  10. My oldest is a HUGE fan of these cartoons! He has a number of them practically memorized. It's not uncommon around our house to hear him singing, "Oh, Brunhilda, you're so wuvvvvwy!" "Yes I know it, I can't help it!"

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  11. How fun, Barb. I haven't thought about Bugs in a long time. He is another part of "the good old days" that we miss. I'll have to point out the music connection to my daughter for her piano studio. Imagine a group lesson watching - and listening - to Bugs Bunny cartoons! "Thanks for the memories."

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  12. Oh I love Bugs Bunny! Dad and I laughed ourselves silly over him--and that could well be what's behind my love for classical music too! =] =]

    Loved this, Barb!!

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  13. I'm a B.B fan (as are my kids) all the way! They just don't make 'em like that anymore.

    I just went to enter the word verification letters--guess what they spelled: funist Just like this post:).

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  14. I am quite impressed at your musical knowledge. All I remember is, "That's alllll folks!" Very nice post, Barbara:)

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  15. There are dozens of other classical music pieces used in Bugs Bunny and other cartoons that I did not list.

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